A new report published by DH Communications and KoMarketing Associates has revealed that social media has very limited influence on B2B purchases.
The B2B Website Usability Report revealed that just six per cent of buyers in this sector have their decisions impacted by a vendor's social media and blog activity.
A meager 22 per cent of 175 respondents, which included managers, directors and C-level executives, of the survey said they were interested in vendor blog content.
The study found that a social media presence rarely impacts B2B buying processes, with 30 per cent of respondents claiming it was important, but not a deal-breaker, while 37 per cent said social media platforms were not a factor.
Respondents revealed that B2B buyers expect to qualify a vendor in a straight-forward process, with a clear purchasing journey and a clear line of sight to products and services pages, complemented by a range of technical information, case studies, and pricing information.
The report also indicated that B2B vendors are often their own worst enemy when it comes to getting buyers through the purchasing process and decisions. Respondents said that many vendor websites lack the crucial information they actually need.
Many respondents said that case studies, white papers, product reviews and pricing are lacking, with too many focusing on social media and company blogs.
Just 24 per cent of buyers questioned said they look for social media icons on a vendor website, with even less, 22 per cent, looking for a blog on a vendor’s website, even though 85 per cent of the buyers polled said a blog does help establish a vendor’s credibility.
An overwhelming majority (90 per cent) of respondents said they want to see product and services content on a vendor’s homepage.
Just under half of the B2B buyers claimed they did not use a smartphone to look for B2B products or services, indicating that mobile-optimised sites may not be as important to B2B operations.
By Gary Cooper